Chapter NINE quotes

In which Dogville receives the long-awaited visit and the film ends
From the moment when they'd finally heard the sound of vehicles starting one after the other from the direction of the edge of the woods, things had moved rapidly. Tom had arranged a delegation to provide a proper reception. Dogville might be off the beaten track, but it was hospitable, nevertheless.

Tell me, has the crime rate really gone up in this country, as we are lead to believe. Maybe people just regard things as criminal, because they envy their success? What's your opinion on the subject. Maybe you have none. I'll get the door...sorry. Tom

What the hell is this? The Man In The Coat

Grace was no expert in exclusive automobiles, yet she recognized with no difficulty the sound of the vehicle that was rounding the corner from Canyon Road at that very moment. Alas, in Grace's memory the legendary purr of the Cadillac series 355 C was inextricably linked with another, rather less sophisticated sound: that of gunfire directed against her person.

Shooting at you certainly didn't help matters. Of course not. You're, far, far too stubborn. The Big Man

Our last conversation, the one in which you told me what it was you didn't like about me, never really concluded — as you ran away. I should be allowed to tell you what I don't like about you. That I believe would be a rule of polite conversation. The Big Man

To plunder, as it were, a God given right. I'd call that arrogant... Grace

You do not pass judgement, because you sympathize with them. A deprived childhood and a homicide really isn't necessarily a homicide, right? The only thing you can blame is circumstances. Rapists and murderers may be the victims, according to you. But I, I call them dogs, and if they're lapping up their own vomit the only way to stop them is with the lash... Dogs can be taught many useful things, but not if we forgive them every time they obey their own nature. The Big Man

Grace: So I'm arrogant. I'm arrogant because I forgive people?
The Big Man: My God. Can't you see how condescending you are when you say that? You have this preconceived notion that nobody, listen, that nobody can't possibly attain the same high ethical standards as you, so you exonerate them. I can not think of anything more arrogant than that. You... you forgive others with excuses that you would never in the world permit for yourself.

You should be merciful, when there is time to be merciful. But you must maintain your own standard. You owe them that. You owe them that. The penalty you deserve for your transgressions, they deserve for their transgressions. The Big Man

Does every human being need to be accountable for their action. Of course they do. But you don't even give them that chance. And that is extremely arrogant. I love you. I love you. I love you to death. But you are the most arrogant person I've ever met. And you call me arrogant! I have no more to say. The Big Man

Grace: The people who live here are doing their best under very hard circumstances.
The Big Man: If you say so, Grace. But is their best really good enough? Do they love you?

The difference between the people she knew back home and the people she'd met in Dogville had proven somewhat slighter than she'd expected.

Grace looked around at the frightened faces behind the windowpanes that were following her every step, and felt ashamed of being part of inflicting that fear. How could she ever hate them for what was at bottom merely their weakness?

Grace paused. And while she did, the clouds scattered and let the moonlight through and Dogville underwent another of those little changes of light. It was if the light, previously so merciful and faint, finally refused to cover up for the town any longer. Suddenly you could no longer imagine a berry that would appear one day on a gooseberry bush, but only see the thorn that was there right now. The light now penetrated every unevenness and flaw in the buildings... and in... the people! And all of a sudden she knew the answer to her question all to well: If she had acted like them, she could not have defended a single one of her actions and could not have condemned them harshly enough.

We can start by shooting a dog and nailing it to a wall. Over there beneath that lamp, for example. Well, it might help. It sometimes does. The Big Man

It would only make the town more frightened, but hardly make it a better place. And it could happen again. Somebody happening by, revealing their frailty. Grace

A man can't really be blamed for being scared now, can he? Tom

Although using people is not very charming, I think you have to agree that this specific illustration has surpassed all expectations. It says so much about being human. It's been painful, but I think you also have to agree it has been edifying. Wouldn't you say? Tom

If there is any town this world would be better without, this is it. Grace

Tell her you will stop if she can hold back her tears. I owe her that. I'm afraid she cries a little too easily. Grace

We've better get you out of here. I'm afraid, you've learned far too much already. The Big Man

You want the curtains opened? You don't need them anymore. Driver

I think we should open them. I think it's appropriate. Grace

Tom: Bingo Grace! Bingo! I have to tell you, your illustration beat the hell out of mine. It's frightening, yes, but so clear. Do you think that I can allow myself to use it as an inspiration in my writing?
Grace: Goodbye, Tom.

Some things you have to do yourself. Grace

Whether Grace left Dogville or on the contrary, Dogville had left her (and the world in general) is a question of a more artful nature that few would benefit from by asking and even fewer by providing an answer. And nor indeed will it be answered here.

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